Setting up shop in Montreal halfway through the tour, the live music extravaganza could have opted for a better location than the awkwardly laid out portion of Parc Jean-Drapeau no one ever really uses (it escapes me why VWT wouldn’t want to make use of the same space other major festivals like Osheaga do, as it is on the same island, after all, but more conveniant and strategically organized), but once you got used to the running around from stage to stage, it wasn’t really all that bad. And, I suppose, if the stages were any closer together, no one would have the full benefit of any band as they would just overlap into a giant musical mess.
It may have been about 400 degrees outside (okay, maybe it was closer to 40, but who’s keeping track?) and Parc Jean-Drapeau isn’t exactly the shadiest of places, but that didn’t stop a flood of fans from continuously piling into the festival site throughout the day to catch a sliver, if not all, of the 69 bands on the bill.
After disappointing Quebec metal fans last year, Heavy MTL returned to Parc Jean-Drapeau on July 24 and 25, much to the delight of the head-banging faithful. With thirty-four bands booked over two days, Saint Helen’s Island, located between Montreal and Longueil, was packed with long-haired, tattoo-covered, beer-drinking metalheads worshiping their rock Gods.
Saturday, July 24, sunny skies and a million degrees outside, yours truly took in the action. The day’s lineup sported some old heavyweights like Slayer, Megadeath, Rob Halford from Judas Priest, and the ageless Alice Cooper. Scanning the crowd, most of the attendees were clearly too young to have actually been alive when most of these bands were in their prime. But metal fans don’t care what your latest hit is, they just want a tonsil-bleeding good time. And that’s what they got.